Archive for April, 2013
There are a handful of special moves that, when mastered, can make the difference between winning a little, and winning a lot.
In this ten-part beginner poker strategy series we’re going to show you exactly how to use these powerful poker moves to make more money.
Today we’re explaining the truth about soul reads.
What might look like a supernatural deduction akin to a fortune teller gazing into a crystal ball is actually a well-thought-out series of observations that lead to the correct decision.
We’ll show you how to make those big call downs with ace-high or bottom pair. It’ll not only impress the other players in the game, it’ll make you more money too.
The What: When people talk about making a soul read they’re referring to making a correct, yet very difficult decision, and doing it with a confidence that goes above and beyond the available info in the hand.
The When: The big call or the huge fold might be the hallmark of the soul read but really it’s a process that’s been going on from the very beginning of the hand. It begins as soon as you start assembling the pieces of the puzzle.
The Where: Soul reads can be made at any time in any poker game. When you nail your opponent on exactly what he’s holding and why he’s making certain actions, you are reading his soul.
The Who: To make a true soul read you need to know your opponent inside and out. What seems like an impossible deduction to the rest of the table is often possible because of what you know about your opponent and the history you’ve shared.
Soul Reads Done Right
Understanding how to read souls is especially important because it relies on one of the most important skills in poker: Observation.
Poker is a game of information, and the winners are the ones who collect the most and assemble it the best to make correct decisions.
You must observe everything your opponents do, whether you’re in the hand or not. Seeing how someone plays their draws or how they behave when they flop the nuts is crucial to making that huge read when it really counts.
When you can make observations and compare that data to what you already know about your opponent’s playing tendencies, you’re ready to take the first step towards soul-reading.
You Must Read Hands Before You Can Read Souls
The easiest way to think about hand-reading in poker is to break down all possible hands into broad groups. Those groups are called “ranges”.
A range of hands contains all the card combinations with which a player would make the same actions.
For example, bottom set and top two pair are both strong hands and would fall into most players’ value-betting ranges. Ace-high and complete air, meanwhile, would be found in their bluffing ranges.
Remember, different players have different ranges. Top pair is enough for some players to get their whole stacks in with, while a good player would have no trouble laying down two-pair in the right spot.
Hands can be broken down into four basic ranges:
Monster Hands and the Nuts: These are hands that your opponent deems strong enough to bet or raise with, and has no problem getting all-in with. For most players a set or better is a monster. Made Hands with Showdown Value: These are top-pair type hands that your opponent believes stand a strong chance of being the best hand but are probably not strong enough to play for stacks. Draws: Flush draws, open-enders and combo draws that have a good chance of becoming the best hand but are not yet made. Bluffs and Air: Hands that have no chance of winning at showdown.
Once you can reliably put your opponent on a range you’ll be able to make vastly superior decisions at the poker table.
Questions You Should Ask Yourself
There’s no shortcut to perfect hand-reading but there are a number of basic questions you should always be able to answer.
Ask yourself these questions when you’re deciphering your opponent’s actions:
What kind of player is he? Is your opponent loose or tight? Passive or aggressive? Is he playing too many hands? The easiest way to tell if someone’s loose or tight is to watch how often they’re putting money in the pot. If someone is playing more than 20% of hands it’s safe to say they’re on the loose side. Is he calling or betting/raising? If a player is constantly playing hands but you can’t remember the last time they bet or raised, it’s safe to label them a passive calling station. If a player is always taking the lead with bets and raises, label them aggressive. What position is he in? Position is huge in poker and most people know it. The later the position the wider the range. The reverse is also true so give more respect to raises coming from early position.
Soul Reading in Action
If you still think soul reading is just an old wives tale, the stuff of legend, check out this video of WSOP bracelet winner Max Lykov.
The Russian defies all logic and makes an enormous call down with king high. And he does it with confidence.
Read More Essential Texas Hold’em Moves:
Soccer teams compete with similar level teams determined by leagues, sprinters only race against those with high enough qualifying times, and boxers are matched against fighters in their weight class and of a similar level.
That’s generally not the case in poker, where there is a heavy emphasis on seeking out competition that’s significantly weaker.
It is routine for a world champion to share a table with a complete amateur. In fact the difference in class between a ‘shark’ and a ‘fish’ can sometimes be equivalent to Tiger Woods playing against a 20 handicap.
Sport thrives on close competition to get spectators interested in watching. Poker players, however, make their money by finding huge edges. The problem is that if you’re only looking for easy money eventually that can harm your progress and thus the size of the edge you have in the game.
Being challenged is a necessary component for both learning and playing in the zone.
One of the most popular theories about the zone comes from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian psychology professor and the author of the book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
He defines being in the zone as a state of “flow” whereby a person is fully immersed in what they are doing.
In order to achieve this state of flow, a balance must be struck between the skill of the performer and the challenge of the task.
In other words, the performer needs to be sufficiently challenged and have enough skill in that task to meet the challenge.
The graphic below illustrates the relationship between skill and challenge:
As you can see, the size of the challenge and the amount of skill you have aren’t important separately; it’s the relationship between the two that determines your ability to reach the zone.
When your skills are low and the challenge is low, or when the challenge is high and your skills are also high, you can perform in the zone.
However, if you’re a massive underdog, you’ll be overwhelmed by the challenge and according to Csikszentmihalyi, you’ll experience anxiety, not flow. Conversely, if you expect to easily crush a weak opponent, you’ll get bored by a challenge that’s too low and fall out of the zone.
Boredom Takes You Out of the Zone
Boredom typically sets in when you stop feeling challenged and there is nothing new or interesting to learn. Like a computer that hasn’t been used recently, your mind is left idling just waiting to be activated.
Boredom is the result of a perceived lack of challenge. When just showing up is enough to have an edge, it’s easy to slip into your B- or C-game.
It makes sense that poker could start to feel like a monotonous grind—you’re dealt the same hands all the time. By now, you’ve been dealt AK suited enough to consider it standard and potentially boring.
However, the players who remain passionate and motivated about seeing the nuances and unique details of how to play each hand are never bored. They see physical tells, timing tells, metagame, combinatorics, balancing ranges, G-bucks, prior action, table image, and many other small details that most players don’t consider.
The dynamics in poker are varied and constantly changing, so while the same hand can be dealt over and over, each hand will play out in a unique way. There are always new areas in which to develop an edge; the game is always evolving and there is always more to learn.
An easy way to stave off boredom is to make sure there’s always something you’re interested in learning.
Are there parts of the game that you’ve wanted to work on, but you just keep putting it off? Focusing on these areas could boost your interest and provide a challenge at the same time.
What are some ways you can stay challenged against weak opponents? Create a game within the game, such as seeing how quickly and accurately you can assess their game.
What information would be useful to gather while you’re card dead? Assume you’re going to find something about another player that will help you exploit them in future hands and your challenge is to find it.
There is always something you can do to make learning more fun and the game more challenging. This is where you should always keep a firm eye on your goals and be ready to refine them to incorporate new challenges.
Jared Tendler is a Mental Game Coach who has worked with over 250 poker players. His newest book, The Mental Game of Poker 2 is the first poker book devoted to teaching players how to play in the zone consistently. It’s available on April 23rd. Pre-order a copy now at JaredTendlerPoker.com.
Where do you go from here?
Omaha is a difficult game to master. It’s what makes the game so interesting and yet so profitable.
You can play thousands upon thousands of hands but if you’re not practicing correctly or you’re getting caught up in the gamble you may actually be doing yourself more harm than good.
It’s not the quantity of hands you play – it’s the quality.
Focus on the Fundamentals
It’s easy to watch PLO online or on TV, see crazy hands go down and get caught up emulating the pros.
Here’s the thing though: The pros have played enough Omaha to know when to break the rules and when to stick to them, when to go with their reads and when to gamble.
As a new Omaha player it’s not enough to just go with “feelings.” You have to stick to a very basic game plan and execute it.
When you’re a proven winner over hundreds of thousands of hands then you can start breaking the rules and advancing your game even further.
But until then you’ll likely get yourself into far more trouble than it’s worth.
The Five Commandments of Winning Omaha
1. Thou Shalt Always Play Within Thy Bankroll
Don’t chase bigger games because they look good unless you’re more than willing to go broke. You should have a bare minimum of 50 buy-ins for the level you’re playing.
Omaha is a swingy game and you don’t want to dump half your roll chasing some fish.
2. Thou Shalt Always Play the Odds
It’s the odds that make poker a profitable game and what separates it from table games. Poker is a beatable game because you can choose when to put money into the pot.
If you always make +EV decisions and always avoid –EV decisions you’ll always make money in the long run. It’s easy to get caught up in the game and chase “feelings,” but that’s not a winning play.
The only winning play is math. Know your odds and play accordingly.
3. Thou Shalt Always Play Tight and Make the Nuts
When learning to play Pot-Limit Omaha it’s no use to open your game up because you see the pros do it.
There will be a time for that when you’re an established winner. Until then you’re just going to end up getting yourself into difficult spots where you leave yourself open to make mistakes and lose money.
Play tight and look to make the nuts with a back-up plan.
4. Thou Shalt Not Get Married to Aces
Aces are pretty. But if you can’t get committed preflop then it’s better to play them slow.
Omaha is a game where pairs rarely win at showdown. Even if your aces are the best hand, it’s often very difficult to get them to showdown to find out.
If you’re marking yourself with aces they better be very good aces like A♥ A♦ J♥ T♦ – in other words aces with something to go along with them.
Otherwise you’re going to allow your opponents to play perfect against you while you’re stuck in the dark.
5. Thou Shalt Always Stay in Emotional Control
Omaha, even more than Hold’em, is a swingy game. You have to be able to keep your cool in the face of extreme variance.
If you go on tilt easily it might not be the game for you. When you lose control of your emotions you lose control of your ability to make winning decisions.
If you take a few beats you have to be able to take a step back and realize that you may be tilting. If you’re not in control of your emotions you should close all your games and take a break.
If you don’t recognize the symptoms you can blow week’s worth of hard grinding in just a few orbits. Stay in control and play winning poker, that’s always your number one goal.
If you stick to these rules and study the game, Pot-Limit Omaha is no different than any other game when you’re learning. You just have to make more +EV bets than –EV ones.
It’s just about recognizing what’s profitable and what’s not. That’s the hard part. You have to analyze the players, the board, your hand, the odds, everything.
It takes time and practice. But if you’re able to do that, the game is very rewarding – both mentally and financially.
More in the How to Not Suck at Pot-Limit Omaha series:
How to Not Suck at PLO: Play to the Nuts How to Not Suck at PLO: Play Tight, Play in Position How to Not Suck at PLO: Avoid Weak Rundowns How to Not Suck at PLO: Don’t Overvalue Aces How to Not Suck at PLO: Bad Hands Make PLO Impossible How to Not Suck at PLO: Hit the Flop Hard How to Not Suck at PLO: Start and End with a Plan How to Not Suck at PLO: The Five Commandments
There are a handful of special moves that, when mastered, can make the distinction among profitable a tiny, and winning a lot.
In this 10-part novice poker strategy series we’re likely to display you just how to use these strong poker moves to make far more income.
Right now we’re conversing about the mild three-bet. This is yet another way to select up pots, even when you don’t select up a huge hand.
By incorporating mild a few-betting into your preflop repertoire you will not only exploit unfastened open-raises, you are going to also balance your selection to help you get compensated off when you do decide up high quality playing cards.
The What: Gentle a few-betting refers to putting in a re-increase ahead of the flop with arms that are probably worse than the opening raiser’s hand.
The When: Try to discover and assault unfastened gamers who are open-raising as well often.
The The place: When you are three-betting light-weight you’re likely to be in 1 of two places, either re-boosting in place, or from the blinds. It’s important to realize each scenarios.
The Why: Free players who increase too considerably prior to the flop can be exploited due to the fact they’ll be compelled to fold a good deal of their marginal hands to a 3-guess.
Light 3-Betting Accomplished Proper
To make factors straightforward, just think about a gentle a few-bet as a semi-bluff.
You’re boosting with a hand that, although not the best hand at the minute, has fold fairness and can turn into the ideal hand on later streets.
Due to the fact one particular of the 1st items poker players find out is to be more aggressive, you are going to experience a ton of players open-raising as well significantly prior to the flop.
Once you are able to discover these players you can exploit them by putting in a re-elevate, even if you really don’t have the cards to back again it up.
It’s essential to bear in mind, nevertheless, that you must harness the electrical power of the mild 3-guess or it could speedily become a huge leak.
The largest chance for beginner players is not comprehension how to perform the hand post-flop when your opponents do call.
Really don’t enable the hand get absent from you by routinely firing a continuation guess and multiple bullets on later on streets.
A single way to offer with this is by only three-betting very very good hands, and really marginal arms with very good flopability.
Professional Idea: Polarize your 3-betting selection to make things less difficult publish-flop
By being away from hands like weak aces and huge paint cards, you are going to be faced with simpler choices later on in the hand, and you will reduce down on occasions when you do flop some thing, but are dominated.
Excellent Arms to 3-Bet Gentle
Just because you’re widening your three-betting range, does not imply you must be re-boosting each hand willy-nilly.
Likely back again to the analogy of the semi-bluff, you want to decide on fingers that have a good likelihood at turning out to be the ideal hand on the flop or on later streets.
Modest pocket pairs are excellent palms to three-bet considering that sets are heading to be the very best hand the extensive vast majority of the time.
The same goes for modest and medium suited connectors.
And as we reviewed prior to, when you overlook the flop with fingers like these, you are much less probably to get dragged into a large pot keeping the worst hand.
Light Three-Betting Balances Your Selection
Balancing your variety is a fancy way of expressing that just due to the fact you’re raising preflop, it doesn’t suggest you have a top quality hand.
If you are only a few-betting with aces and kings your opponents will catch on, and it will be impossible to get paid when you do choose up a monster.
By raising with quality fingers as effectively as speculative palms, you have a more well balanced three-betting assortment.
Picture you’ve three-wager light with eight&diams nine&diams and ended up generating a flush on the flip. When you demonstrate down that profitable hand your opponents will get be aware that you 3-wager with a marginal hand.
Then when you do pick up aces, they’ll be significantly a lot more likely to pay you off.
Light 3-Betting in Motion
If you are still not certain about the electrical power of the gentle a few-wager, check out out this online video showcasing Phil Ivey, Lex Veldhuis and Barry Greenstein.
This hand will take the notion to the absolute extreme with a mild 3-wager, chilly 4-bet and a substantial 5-guess bluff jam.
Read A lot more Crucial Texas Hold’em Moves:
There are a handful of particular moves that, when mastered, can make the variation among winning a minor, and profitable a whole lot.
In this 10-element novice poker technique sequence we’re heading to demonstrate you specifically how to use these effective poker moves to make far more funds.
Nowadays we’re conversing about the reverse notify, at times named a untrue notify. It’s a shift that can disorient your opponents and make it a good deal more difficult for them to make the appropriate choice.
By mastering the reverse inform you can trick your opponents into mucking when they have the best of it and shoveling their chips into the center when they’re crushed.
The What: A type of misinformation, reverse explain to refers to a deliberate habits or action intended to make your opponent(s) feel they’ve picked up data about your hand.
The Why: There are many widespread tells that poker players look for. By imitating these tells in the right place you can affect your opponent’s believed procedure.
The In which: For a reverse explain to to be profitable your opponent wants to be spending consideration, so this move will only operate towards experienced, considering gamers.
The When: The most typical time you can use a reverse explain to is when you have manufactured a large wager or increase and your opponent is selecting no matter whether to get in touch with or fold.
Reverse Tells for Newbies
The essence of a reverse tell is about getting able to impact your opponent’s habits, by feeding him false info.
If you know your opponent has been looking through Joe Navarro’s Study ‘Em and Enjoy, for case in point, you can just take advantage about what he’s uncovered about poker tells.
Navarro indicates that individuals are likely to get closer bodily to their cards and chips when they have a robust hand, and farther away when they are weak.
Next time you are bluffing all-in and your opponent seems to be like he’s getting a challenging time producing a determination, lean into the desk and cozy up to those playing cards like they are your two very best buddies.
Superior Reverse Tells
The following amount of reverse tells involves placing up your opponents in excess of the course of a session or classes.
By creating certain the other players take be aware of a specified actions or inform, you can use that habits at an opportune time to pressure a miscalculation.
For instance, each time you decide up a monster hand and are value-betting or raising, make sure to totally modify the subject matter of conversation, as if to draw attention away from the hand.
If you feel your opponent has picked up on it, do the identical the next time you’re running a huge bluff.
The reverse explain to is not foolproof, but poker is complete of instances when players are torn in between contacting or folding in a difficult spot. Sometimes all they need to have is a nudge in the proper direction.
5 Most Widespread Tells You Can Reverse
For each and every widespread inform there’s a straightforward reversal.
If the notify generally means you’re holding a monster hand, do it when you are bluffing and give your opponent yet another explanation to fold.
If the inform generally implies air, make confident to break it out when you are betting or elevating with the nuts.
Right here are the top five tells you can reverse:
Sturdy is Weak, Weak is Powerful: Most individuals believe that when a player is holding a strong hand, they are most very likely to act weak in purchase to confuse their opponent. The reverse is real of a person bluffing. Throwing out bets forcefully, staring down your opponent and talking with inflated bravado are just some of the approaches gamers act robust. A Shaky Hand Signifies a Monster: Several gamers, specifically beginners, will be a lot more anxious when they are holding a monster hand than when they’re bluffing. Consequently the concept that when someone’s hand is shaking and jittery when they place out a wager, they’ve almost certainly acquired the nuts. Staring at or Seeking Absent from the Flop: Comparable to the ‘Strong is Weak’ notion, when a player seems at the flop and then swiftly looks away it signifies he likes what he sees and is trying to look uninterested. When a participant is staring at the flop for a lengthy time it usually signifies he has missed. Glancing at Chips: When a player swiftly appears at their chips after observing the flop, it generally indicates they connected with it someway. Nonsensical Discussion: If a gamers is normally extremely smooth in their conversation and commences to communicate nonsensically or clumsily when concerned in a huge hand, it’s typically signifies they are bluffing.
The Reverse Explain to in Motion
If you’re nonetheless not confident about the power of the reverse notify, solid your mind back to the 1998 WSOP Primary Celebration.
It was the last hand among Scotty Nguyen and Kevin McBride and there was a entire property on the board, eights full of nines.
Scotty had a 9 in his hand and pushed McBride above the edge into a phone with the popular line, “You get in touch with, it’s likely to be all in excess of little one.”
Scotty was playing on the widespread inform that weak signifies sturdy and vice versa. He acted sturdy with a monster and tricked McBride into thinking he was trying to buy the pot.
Skip to three:00 for the good stuff.
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